Legendary Dishes | Ragú (meat sauce)

Shop ragú on sale in the Via Saragozza in Bologna

The commercialisation of this sauce has taken the shine away from the original, as popular as ever in Bologna where the homemade version is still revered. This is one such version, courtesy of grocer Roberto Trentini’s mother.

  • 1 litre white wine
  • 500 g beef, minced
  • 400 ml passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 250 g carrots, chopped
  • 250 g celery, chopped
  • 250 g onions, chopped
  • 100 g pancetta / bacon
  • 1 beef / vegetable stock cube
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • Salt, pinch
  • Water, for loosening the sauce

In a deep, wide frying pan sauté onions and pancetta in the oil over a low heat, about 15 minutes. Add carrots and celery, sauté for five minutes. Turn up heat, put in meat, add wine a little at a time until the meat softens. Add passata, a little water, a stock cube and salt, cook covered over a low heat for an hour.